Potted Raspberry Cheesecakes – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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About a month ago I posted a recipe for a delicious baked ricotta cheesecake. When I made the batter to fill the cheesecake, I slightly really overestimated how much I would need and made way too much. Whoops! But instead of making an extra crust, I decided to bake these in ramekins, instead.

If you’re looking for an easy dessert for a dinner party that can be made ahead of time, then look no further. These cheesecakes are the perfect blend of fluffy and creamy; the zing from the lemon plays well with the berries and they are not overly sweet. They will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container (which prevents the top from drying out and forming a skin – yuck). As long as you keep your serving to one ramekin, you won’t walk away from this dessert feeling terribly guilty – just pleasantly satisfied… but this of course depends on everything else you’ve eaten that night.

Notes:

  1. Ricotta and cream cheese are not low in lactose, so this recipe isn’t suitable for those who malabsorb lactose.
  2. The eggs I used were 50 g each.
  3. Pure maple syrup does not have additives in it that may increase the level of FODMAPs present, thus should be safe.
  4. Fresh lemon juice is generally better tolerated than lemon juice concentrate. If you use the concentrate, only use 20 ml.
  5. Pure vanilla extract is low FODMAP.

Potted Raspberry and Ricotta Cheesecakes

Makes enough to fill 8 x 4 oz. ramekins

  • 275 g ricotta cheese
  • 115 g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dextrose or castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Raspberries to scatter over base of ramekins

Pre-heat your oven to 150 C/300 F and boil a kettle full of water.

By hand or in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, blend the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, eggs, maple syrup, dextrose, lemon zest and vanilla extract together. A stand mixer will give a smoother end product and makes life a lot easier.

Meanwhile, mix the potato starch and lemon juice together to create a smooth paste. This step is important, because if you mix the potato starch into the mixture as a powder it may cause your baked cheesecakes to become gritty, which is not a texture we want to associate with this dessert.

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Scatter the bases of the ramekins with the raspberries and cover with the cheesecake batter. Lightly tap each ramekin on the bench top to eliminate air bubbles.

Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and place that dish in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the baking dish so that it surrounds the ramekins up to 3/4 height – this water bath technique allows the cheesecakes to bake slowly and evenly while providing steam to prevent them from drying out, thus eliminating those unsightly cracks from the surfaces that can form as they cool.

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Bake for 20 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then turn the oven off. Open the oven door for 60 seconds before closing it again and set the timer for 15 minutes more. Remove the baking tray with ramekins from the oven and then take each ramekin out of the water bath.

Let the potted cheesecakes cool for 30 minutes before refrigerating in an airtight container for 2-3 hours to finish the setting process. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days, max. If you do not store them in an airtight container, your fridge may dry out the surface and a skin will develop. You can also freeze these cheesecakes, if your ramekins/pots are freezer safe – again, in an airtight container is best to prevent frost damage.

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream to cut the richness if necessary… and enjoy!

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Baked Ricotta Cheesecake, with Variations – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Baked Ricotta Cheesecake - Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Does everyone from Australia remember the Cheesecake Shop? Apparently it’s still around. My parents always used to buy cakes from them – they made way more than just cheesecakes and everything was delicious. As you can see, my sweet tooth developed early and it’s tough to keep it in check!

My favourite cheesecake was easily their ricotta cheesecake stuffed with sultanas. I’m not sure whether it was the ricotta or the sultanas that drew me to this cake – or the combination of both. Sadly, the Mordialloc shop stopped making ricotta cheesecake at some point in my early teens and I was devastated… but I eventually put aside my grief and moved on to my custard tart obsession.

A couple of months ago, my friend Chath made a batch of miniature cheesecakes and they got me thinking about the ricotta cheesecakes I’d loved so much growing up. Of course, since I would be hard put to find a gluten free/fructose friendly ricotta cheesecake in the supermarket – not to mention the fact that I like baking – I decided I would make my own.

I got my inspiration from a few sources; Chath’s cheesecakes linked above (they are delicious), this classic baked cheesecake from Donna Hay and Alton Brown’s method of water-bath baking cheesecakes from his show, Good Eats. A couple of trials and errors later, I give you my ricotta cheesecake with variations. It is lightly sweetened and combines the best of both the ricotta and cream cheeses for a rich cheesecake that is the perfect balance of fluffy and creamy.

Notes:

  1. Ricotta and cream cheese are not low in lactose, so this recipe isn’t suitable for those who malabsorb lactose.
  2. The eggs I used were 50 g each.
  3. Pure maple syrup does not have additives in it that may increase the level of FODMAPs present, thus should be safe.
  4. Fresh lemon juice is generally better tolerated than lemon juice concentrate. If you use the concentrate, only use 20 ml.
  5. Pure vanilla extract is low FODMAP.

Ricotta Cheesecake

Makes 1 x 9″ cake or 2 x 6″ cakes. You may not need all the base mixture for the single 9″ cake.

Crust

  • 110 g almond flour/meal (or nut of choice)
  • 135 g gluten free plain flour
  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 20 g dextrose or castor sugar
  • 120 g butter, chilled and chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. cold water

Filling

  • 275 g ricotta cheese
  • 115 g cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dextrose or castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Variations

  • Layer the blind baked crust with stewed fruits and dust the top with icing sugar after it has baked.
  • Sprinkle fresh or frozen berries on the blind baked crust and dust the top with icing sugar after it has baked.
  • Stir a tolerable amount of dried fruit through the filling before pouring it into the crust then bake it and dust the top with icing sugar afterward.
  • Bake the mixture plain and pour passion fruit pulp or a mixed berry sauce over the top.
  • Bake the mixture plain and dust the top with icing sugar after it has baked.

Pre-heat your oven to 150 C/300 F.

Grease and line either one 9″ cake tin (normal or spring form) or two 6″ tins completely. Using baking paper, line the sides first and then press the circle for the base in gently, sealing up the gaps.

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In a food processor or by hand, thoroughly combine the ingredients for the crust. It should be a smooth, malleable mixture and not dry and crumbly. Press it evenly over the lined cake tin base and up the sides as high as possible, as it will slide down a little when baking. Cover the crust mix with baking paper and pie weights (to help even and quick cooking) and blind bake for 15 minutes or until it becomes lightly golden. Let the crust come back to room temperature.

Pre blind baking

Pre blind baking

Post blind baking

Post blind baking – the cracks are my fault, I forgot to set the oven timer and it cooked for 5 minutes too long

By hand or in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, blend the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, eggs, maple syrup, dextrose, lemon zest and vanilla extract together. A stand mixer will give a smoother end product and makes life a lot easier.

Meanwhile, mix the potato starch and lemon juice together to create a smooth paste. This step is important, because if you mix the potato starch into the mixture as a powder it may cause your baked cheesecakes to become gritty, which is not a texture we want to associate with this dessert.

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This is where the variations come in – choose your variation and then fill the cooled crust to about 5 mm shy of the top with the cheese batter, covering any fruits you decided to add in. In the photos below, I filled the crusts to 5 mm below the cracks caused by me overcooking them.

Variation - baked plain

Variation – baked plain

Variation - baked with fruit on the crust

Variation – baked with fruit on the crust

Place the cake tin in a large baking dish and place that dish in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the baking dish so that it surrounds the cake tin up to 3/4 height – this water bath technique allows the cheesecakes to bake slowly and evenly while providing steam to prevent them from drying out, thus eliminating those unsightly cracks from the surfaces that can form as they cool. If you have used a spring form tin, this will not work as the water will leak in. Instead of a water bath, place an oven safe bowl full of boiling water on the shelf under the baking cheesecake to help steam it. 

Baking:

  • 6″ cake – 45 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then turn the oven off. Open the oven door for 60 seconds before closing it again and set the timer for 45 minutes more, after which you can remove the baking tray with cake tins from the oven and then take the tins out of the water bath.
  • 9″ cake – 60 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then turn the oven off. Open the oven door for 60 seconds before closing it again and set the timer for 60 minutes more, after which you can remove the baking tray with cake tins from the oven and then take the tins out of the water bath.

Let the baked cheesecake cool completely before refrigerating it in an airtight container for at least 4 hours to finish the setting process. Do NOT remove it from the tin before it has cooled completely, or this will happen:

Cheesecake. Nailed it.

Store in the fridge for 3-4 days, max. If you do not store it in an airtight container, your fridge may dry out the surface and a skin will develop.

Serve your variation of choice with extra fresh fruit, vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream to cut the richness if necessary.

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Cranberry, Orange and Chia Seed Muffins – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free & Grain Free

Cranberry, Orange & Chia Seed Muffins

Maybe two years ago Evgeny and I went on a low carb/grain free diet for 6 months and we felt good. We had extra energy, my skin cleared up and we even lost some weight but then slipped back into our old habits – I of course remained fructose friendly. A little while ago we were talking about how good we felt back then and we decided to give it another shot; this time, however, we can eat rice occasionally.

The main reason we reverted to old habits was not because we didn’t feel good – quite the opposite – but because the diet was too restrictive for us to maintain all the time and as soon as we had one treat, another one crept in and before we knew it we were eating carbs/grains full time again. Whoops! This time our emphasis is on unprocessed, rather than grains. We’re buying ingredients, rather than foods, as the saying goes. It’s much easier to stay on track and eat meals that don’t get boring and they’re probably definitely much better for us than the pre-packaged low carb desserts that we bought last time.

Aside from that, I don’t really like diets that encourage extremes – either all low/non fat, or super low carb etc. Balance is the key to health and while I do agree we rely too much on grains for today’s diet – I used to have porridge for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner until I was diagnosed with FM – I’m sure that having a bowl of rice or a slice of FODMAP friendly bread on the weekend isn’t going to ruin all my good work. Besides, I enjoy baking and sharing the goodies that come out of the oven. It’s relaxing!

After a month of this diet – and feeling great, I might add – I think we will be able to maintain this long term. The one thing we miss, though, is a sweet treat during the week. Now I know it’s not good to have dessert every night but occasionally we need more than a banana or orange after dinner and these grain free muffins really hit the spot. As added insurance against splurging, I recommend freezing these so you can’t just guts them all at once.

I adapted this recipe from Delicious As It Looks, a fantastic website with FODMAP friendly recipes that I highly recommend visiting. The muffins are light, fluffy and delicately sweetened and inspired by the orange and poppy seed muffins I fell in love with at Melbourne Uni.

Notes:

  1. Cranberries are low FODMAP. Dried cranberries are tolerated by some fructose malabsorbers in small amounts – there should only be 5-6 dried cranberries per muffin and the dextrose (if you use it) will reduce the fructose load further. Also ensure your cranberries weren’t dried or mixed with any fruit juices or sugars that are not low FODMAP.
  2. Orange is low FODMAP, as is a little fresh squeezed juice. Bottled juice, however, is highly concentrated and very sugary, so has a higher fructose load.
  3. Almonds are low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts. If you are concerned about the FOS/GOS of almonds in this recipe then you can sub in some buckwheat flour or my gluten free plain flour – just remember it will no longer be grain free.

Cranberry, Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Makes 10 x 1/4 cup muffins.

  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dextrose or 1/4 cup castor sugar – or more to your taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange (washed!)
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries – depending on tolerance. If you’re unsure, stick to the 1/4 cup initially.
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Note that you will reduce the heat to 300 F/150 C just before baking.

In a large bowl, cream the coconut oil and sugar together for 2-3 minutes, until they become smooth. Add in the eggs and OJ and continue mixing until combined.

Meanwhile, add the almond meal, chia seeds, orange zest, dried cranberries and salt together in a separate bowl and mix together roughly. When the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined, add in the dry ingredients little by little until you have a smooth mixture. Now combine the baking powder and white wine vinegar in a ramekin and mix quickly – it will foam. Pour it into the batter and keep mixing til combined.

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Spoon the mixture out between greased or lined muffin pans, reduce the oven’s heat to 300 F/150 C and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a centre muffin tests clean (with a skewer).

They won’t brown like a normal wheat – or even gluten free – muffin will, they stay a lighter white-ish yellow colour. This is normal, don’t leave them in the oven to brown, as they will just go dry and hard due to over-cooking.

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Let them sit for 10-15 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Most importantly, enjoy!

These freeze well or keep in the pantry in an airtight container for a week.

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Double Chocolate Muffins – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Double Chocolate Muffins - Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

These chocolate chip muffins were an experiment for Evgeny – one which thankfully proved successful! After I made a batch of banana nut muffins, he was eating them and adding in chocolate chips separately; two per mouthful. I asked him what he was doing and I was told that all muffins should have chocolate chips, no exceptions.

You know the saying, “Happy wife, happy life?” The same holds true for husbands (or any partner), minus the catchphrase. Well, this is my answer to that. He won’t need to add any extra chocolate to these! And keeping with that theme, these would go down a treat on Valentine’s Day and earn you some serious brownie points… chocolate brownie points… Mmmmm, brownies.

Notes:

  1. Monash released an update a few months ago that states that 3 tsp. (1 tbsp.) of cocoa powder are low FODMAP. If you put in the full 6 tbsp. of cocoa powder, then you only get 1/4 tbsp. of cocoa powder per muffin. You’re sweet!
  2. Buttermilk isn’t lactose free but you can replace it with LF milk with a dash of lemon juice added – alternatively, just use a dairy free milk of your choice.
  3. I used dark chocolate chips in these muffins but you can use any type you like that you can tolerate.
  4. Almonds are listed as low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts or less – the 1/2 cup spread over 24 muffins is well within this.
  5. I am loving how well virgin coconut oil creams with sugar – so much better than normal butter – but of course, either works well in this recipe.

Double Chocolate Muffins

Makes 24 muffins.

  • 3 cups GF plain flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3-6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 cup virgin coconut oil/softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (white, milk, dark or a mixture – whatever you tolerate)

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F and line two 12 hole muffin trays with patty pans.

In a large bowl, sift the plain flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum and set it aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the coconut oil (or butter) and sugar for 2-3 minutes on a medium speed. Add in the eggs and continue to beat on medium for another 203 minutes, until the mixture is completely smooth. Next, add in the vanilla and beat until combined.

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Now add the white wine vinegar to the buttermilk and add the buttermilk mixture in while continuing to beat on low, alternating with the dry ingredients – 1/4 of each at a time. When all the ingredients are in the stand mixer’s bowl, beat on medium until they are thoroughly combined and then switch to a low speed before adding in the chocolate chips and beating for another minute.

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Place a lightly heaped 1/4 cup of the batter in each and bake for 20 minutes – rotating the trays from top to bottom halfway through to ensure even cooking – if you have a fan forced oven you will not need to do this… lucky you!

Let them sit for 15 minutes before placing the muffins on a cooling rack to come to room temperature.

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To serve, either dust them with icing sugar or make a chocolate ganache icing for an extra rich chocolate hit.

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Carrot Cake – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Carrot cake was the very first gluten free cake that I made, back in 2006 when I was incorrectly diagnosed with coeliacs disease – before I went to a second gastroenterologist who agreed to do a colonoscopy/gastroscopy and then the breath tests for fructose and lactose.

I love carrots, which are a naturally sweet vegetable, and combining carrots and cake is a dream come true to my palate. Throw in some cream cheese icing and you have yourselves a winner, in my books. I adapted this recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s ‘Simple Carrot Cake’ recipe, found on p. 224 of her book, The Cook’s Companion. It is moist, sweet but not too sweet and delicious – everything a good carrot cake should be.

Notes:

  1. Carrots are low FODMAP in “9 slice” servings – not entirely sure how big a slice is but I imagine that a slice of this cake would be safe.
  2. Cream cheese contains lactose, so the icing would not be suitable for those following a lactose free diet.
  3. Adding almond meal to a cake batter can help with moisture, something which some gluten free cakes lack in. If you cannot tolerate almonds, even in the small amount per serving of this cake, sub in your regular gluten free plain flour.
  4. The cake featured in the photos used twice the recipe to make a double layered cake.

Carrot Cake

  • 100 g gluten free plain flour
  • 25 g almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • Optional – 50 g roughly chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease and line a 9″ cake pan.

Cream the oil and sugar together for 2-3 minutes on a low speed before adding in the eggs and combining well. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and spices.

When the eggs have been thoroughly mixed into the oil/sugar mixture, add in the dry ingredients bit by bit, allowing each portion to combine well before adding in the next. Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together, gently stir in the grated carrot and walnuts.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for –

  • A large cake: 45-60 minutes at 180 C, or until the cake tests clean. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before upending it onto a cooling rack and allowing it to reach room temperature before icing it.
  • Muffins: 15 minutes at 180 C, or until a muffin in the centre of the tray tests clean. Let them sit before removing from the muffin tin and then allow them to cool completely before icing.

Icing

There are a couple of options to ice this cake:

  • Dust with cinnamon and icing sugar
  • Serve with whipped cream or coconut cream
  • Cream cheese icing – 100 g full fat cream cheese (low fat wont whip properly), 2 tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup icing sugar (alternatively 1/4 cup glucose and 1/4 cup icing sugar) and 1/2 tspn. vanilla essence. Cream the cheese and butter, then continue to beat while adding sugar and vanilla essence. Spread it onto the cake and sprinkle with desiccated coconut shreds.

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Banana Nut Muffins – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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I am SO excited to share this recipe with you guys, not just because these muffins are so moist and delicious without being overly sweet but because it was the first successful use of my own gluten free plain flour blend!

When trialling this flour, I had to use a recipe that I had down pat, and what better recipe than an old favourite? That way I’d know, if something went wrong, I could blame the flour blend.

Banana bread/muffins/cake is a comfort food for me – good thing that bananas are low FODMAP – and I like baking them in individual servings so that I can freeze them and let one thaw each day that I want one. It also means that they last longer, seeing as they’re frozen and I can’t just grab one out and scoff it – I need to wait and be patient. SO not my strong suit.

These muffins work well for breakfast on the go, a morning tea or a dessert – maybe give them a dose of cream cheese icing if you want to serve them for dessert and have them looking the part.

Notes:

  1. Bananas are low FODMAP, except for overripe sugar bananas. But your average supermarket banana is safe as long as it’s a small to medium size.
  2. Almonds are low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts. There is only 1/4 cup of almond meal in this entire recipe, spread over 12 muffins, so FODMAP-wise they’re safe.
  3. For a lactose free muffin – use unrefined virgin coconut oil instead of butter and a LF milk with a dash of lemon juice.
  4. For a vegan option, use the LF options as well as 1/3 cup silken tofu instead of the eggs, the instructions remain the same. Alternatively, use your favourite egg replacement method.

Banana Nut Muffins

Wet ingredients

  • 115 g (approx 1/2 cup) butter or virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dextrose
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs or 1/3 cup silken tofu
  • 1 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk – or lactose free/non-dairy milk with a dash of lemon juice

Dry ingredients

  • 250 g GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut shreds
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F and line a 12 pan muffin tray with patty pans.

Cream the butter, sugar and maple syrup on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes, then add in the eggs, mashed banana, vanilla extract and buttermilk and mix until combined.

Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and stir through. When the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, gradually add in the dry ingredients and keep beating on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the edges as necessary.

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Scoop a heaped 1/4 cup measure into each pan and sprinkle with extra desiccated coconut. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C, or until a centre muffin tests clean. Let them sit in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack and allowing them to reach  room temperature before you box or freeze them.

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Cast Iron Cornbread – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Cast Iron Cornbread - Lower FODMAP

I had never eaten corn bread before moving to the USA, which isn’t really that surprising. I suppose back home our cheat’s bread is damper and many Americans wouldn’t have tried that, either.

The first corn bread I tried was a sweet version that I’m pretty sure had corn grits in it as well, judging by the texture. It was moist and chewy and sweet and delicious but really only a one trick pony. The savoury version you can use as sandwich bread, as the base to a stuffing, serve it with soup etc. Much more versatile.

The following recipe I based from reading about corn bread in general – to get an idea of ingredients, as well as the method. The website I found most useful was The Paupered Chef, as I particularly liked the idea of soaking the corn meal in the buttermilk (they used milk) beforehand. Some say that true Southern corn bread is 100% corn meal, others say that that’s untrue. Not being from the South, let alone the country, I have absolutely no opinion on what is or isn’t traditional, I’m just making what I find tasty.

FODMAP Notes:

  1. Corn is a tricky one. The FODMAP content depends on the variety; sweet corn can be troublesome for some with FM due to the high sugar content and some people are sensitive to GMO crops, of which corn is the poster child (I’m not going to enter the GMO debate here, though). However, the sweet corn that is grown for eating on the cob isn’t the same corn that is used for corn meals, flours or starches and it’s different again to corn that is grown for use in plastics and bio-fuels. Corn meal is not made from sweet corn, thus is much better tolerated. There are specific corn allergies, though, so watch out for those.
  2. Rye can be substituted in for the GF plain flour, if you can tolerate it. As I have mentioned beforestudies show that rye flour contains more fructans than wheat but evidence suggests that the chains are longer, thus taking longer to ferment. It is generally less of an irritant than wheat to those with FM, although many still have problems.
  3. If you have a gluten issue or are very sensitive to fructans, replace the rye flour with your favourite gluten free blend and 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum (or 1 tbsp. chia seed meal).
  4. Buttermilk contains lactose, which is water soluble. If you malabsorb lactose then replace it with the same volume of LF milk with a dash of lemon juice.

Cast Iron Corn Bread

This quantity cooks well in a 12 ” cast iron skillet.

  • 2 1/4 cups corn meal
  • 2 cups buttermilk or lactose free milk
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour OR a gluten free plain flour blend with 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. chia meal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large or 3 small eggs
  • Optional – 1/4 cup roughly cut fresh herbs, such as rosemary

Combine the corn meal and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl – everything will end up in here eventually – and let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F. Place your cast iron skillet (or any skillet with an oven safe handle, the heavier its base the better) in the oven to heat up. Please remember to now use gloves whenever you handle the skillet!

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While the corn meal is soaking, sift the flour (with any necessary xanthan gum or chia meal), baking powder, salt and the optional herbs into a separate bowl, and combine the eggs and softened butter (the softer, the better) in another.

When the corn meal and buttermilk have been sitting for the ten minutes, add in first the wet ingredients and then gradually add and mix in the dry ingredients – depending on your particular flours of choice, etc, you may or may not need all of it. The mixture should resemble a thick cake batter.

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Now, take the skillet out of the oven and grease it up with either a dollop of butter or olive oil, or even lard – I used butter. Spread your lipid of choice all around the base and at least half way up the sides of the pan and tip out any excess. Plonk the batter (it is too thick to pour) into the waiting skillet, make sure it is evenly spread out and pop it in the oven.

Baking instructions:

  • 12″ cast iron skillet – 25 minutes at 230 C/450 F.
  • Loaf tin – 50 minutes at 180 C/350 F (until a skewer tests clean).

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Let it sit in the skillet for 10 minutes to cool slightly and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Let it sit for half an hour before cutting, or it may crumble. This corn bread works well as sandwich bread (in a loaf pan), served with soup etc, it goes very well with my cranberry sauce/jam and can be used in a corn bread stuffing, the recipe for which I will be posting next. Stay tuned!

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